Nespresso Headquarters, Milan
Wednesday 13 Mar 2013


London based architects MWAI has completed the refurbishment and fit out of Nespresso’s headquarters in Milan after winning an invited competition set up by the successful coffee company to find a practice that could design and deliver high-end office space in a 1940s mixed-use building in the heart of Milan.

MWAI’s design includes offices, meeting rooms, a call centre and training area. The brand colours, white and brown, are incorporated throughout the design to reflect Nespresso’s corporate identity and imagery as well as to provide a sophisticated but unpretentious interior.

Nespresso’s headquarters are located in the Palazzo Donini building designed by a group of famous Italian architects that included Gio Ponti. The brief called for a modern and stylish design that would not only reflect the company’s corporate identity, but also a design that would provide a practical work place for staff. The project was designed to a fixed budget and run on a tight 9 month programme. The brief required 1,200 m2 of office space for 140 employees which includes; 10 Directors offices, workspace for 90 staff, a call centre for 40 staff, 4 meeting rooms, 1 conference and training room, 2 kitchens and breakout areas.

MWAI worked alongside Nespresso’s Directors and the marketing department to ensure the project was successfully delivered. Nespresso’s brand identity is translated into an interesting and individual work environment by using calm colours, framed glass and lacquered wood creating a warm feeling throughout. The

corporate image is further integrated with marketing images hung throughout the reception area and at the end of corridors to create interesting focal points.

Clients and visitors are welcomed at reception and invited to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere with comfortable seats positioned around the fireplace which was designed with reference to Italian artist Giovanni Piranesi’s engravings.

A design library is a key feature of the reception area and is home to a range of books and objects relating to the history of coffee. Classic modern chairs and sofas by Knoll have been selected to emphasise the relaxed but formal nature of the space. The furniture and light fittings are coordinated throughout to create a harmonic experience within the space. Ancillary rooms are dressed in bolder colours to recall the Nespresso capsules.

The new Director’s offices are designed into glass volumes with solid wooden doors and are used to divide the open plan space, create visual focal points and help illuminate the corridors. All cupboards are bespoke and the handle details are used to create a rhythm along the corridors.